Yearly Archives: 2013

General Planning Meeting – 5 January 2014

Howdy all,
And best wishes for the upcoming New Year! This is just a quick reminder about the monthly planning meeting coming up next Sunday at Quelab. This will be held at the regularly scheduled time, with potluck starting at 4:30 and the meeting at 5 pm.

Please make sure to review the “cardstorming” work done last month during December’s strategic planning session. Here is a link to those meeting minutes

The plan is to sort through and prioritize all the things that we want to do in 2014. Here’s a link to this month’s agenda. Be there to have your opinions heard and to point Quelab in the right direction for the next year!

Please email the board AT with any additional questions. Thanks!
-Greg, Quelab prez

Foosball Table, part 5

I bought a foosball table for the space.  It needed some cleanup & repair and Walter asked me to blog about it.  Part 5 in a 5 part series.

These events took place on November 27 & 29th, 2013.

Read Part 1 of this seriespart 2, part 3,  or part 4 if you missed them.

When last you left us, disaster had struck!  As I was reassembling the foosball table, heretofore hidden damage revealed itself on other cream-colored foosball men as they were tightened on their rods.  Oh noes!

Morgan & Celeste helped me choose a new set of guys.  I ordered from eBay seller “blazingstarbiz2009” a complete set of 26 red & blue foosball guys.  I only need 22, but having the four extra guys will mean that I will never break a guy on this table.  At least, I hope that’s what it will mean!

Yay!  It came, it came, it came!  Let’s hear it for Priority mail!


Progress, slow but sure

The new space is progressing along, slow but sure!  Here are some pics:

Rollup Door:

The garage door into the warehouse area has been trimmed out.  Last week, Bandit trimmed the two bolts protruding from the concrete, but we still need to remove the parking barrier in front of the rollup door.


3d Printing Room:

In room #10, Alfred & his brother John built this great counter & shelf.  I am thinking of stealing, er, borrowing the format for other places in the space.  It looks very professional!



Room-yet-to-be-named, you know, for crafting & junk:

We have been referring to this room (#3 on the map, for those of you keeping count) as the Crafting room, but the people that do the crafts don’t seem to like that term, so I don’t know what we are calling it.  In any case, if any of you were in the space in the first few weeks after the move, basically everything from the old space got dropped into rooms #2 & #3.  They were jam-packed. I don’t know who started the cleanout process, but I was in the space one day when Walter & Alfred were finishing it.  Addie chose this table to go into this room (though Walter & I were discussing how to re-do the damaged  trim strip around the table, so it may temporarily move to the shop for repairs, oh, “someday”, I guess).  I believe further plans call for a small counter on the east wall (where the blue cabinet is, in the below picture), and the french cleat system used in some of the shop areas may be installed in this room as well.



Gaming/Arcade Room:

This room, #2 on the map, was also jam packed from stuff during the move. I was pleasantly surprised when I came in to find it almost empty!  Walter tells me that he wants to switch rooms 5 & 2.  Room #5 was marked down as Gaming & Arcade, and indeed, we put the asteroids cabinet there during the move.  However, I agree with Walter… room 5 is narrow, and not really suited for the Arcade Cabinet (cabinetS now, I guess). Room #2 was marked for use as Library space & the open access PC.  However, room #2 is a little large for “just” that, so I think switching the two rooms makes sense to me.



Electronics Lab workshop:

Bandit has made some great progress in the Electronics space. He has a very solid base built for the counters that will be set up.  I think it might be strong enough to stand on!  We were impressed enough that Alfred used the same techniques in building the counter in room 10, the 3d Printing room.



Foosball Table, part 4

I bought a foosball table for the space.  It needed some cleanup & repair and Walter asked me to blog about it.  Part 4 in a 5 part series.

These events took place on November 23 & 24, 2013.

Read Part 1 of this series, part 2, or part 3 if you missed them.

When last you left us, I had painted all the rusty fasteners a nice glossy black:


It’s been a few days, so there’s been plenty of time for drying (or would that be curing?), even with how cold the space is kept when unoccupied.   Even though my package of new guys & foosballs isn’t here yet, I figured I could go ahead and reassemble the table except for the last four guys, the middle rod that carries four guys!

I bolted the legs back on, and put the screws back into the side rod holders… I think the paint job really dresses up the table in a nice yet subtle way!


Compare that to this shot when they were all rusty:


It’s subtle, and you may not even be consciously aware of the difference, but I bet you’ll like the table with the painted fasteners better than the one with the rusty fasteners!

So I started reassembling the table.  The legs bolted on, then flip the table.  Then start inserting the rods & assembling the bumpers & men to them. That is when disaster struck.  Even though I took great care to not overtighten the bolts & screws that hold the men on, as I tightened the bolts, cracks became visible on several of the cream-colored men. (I didn’t cause the cracks, but tightening the bolts revealed damage I had missed in my earlier assessment.)  This meant that I didn’t have four damaged foosball guys as I originally thought, I had 5, no 7, no 8!  Eight broken, damaged foosball guys!  And the shipment I am waiting for from Mueller’s only has four replacement guys.  DURN BURN IT!


What to do, what to do…

While I could order more replacement guys, that would mean even more shipping charges, and I figured the others were ticking timebombs, why not just replace the whole kit & kaboodle?  And that’s what I did. After discussion with Morgan & Celeste (they were in Quelab that day), I decided to buy a complete set of foosball men from eBay.

The next day, my order came in from Mueller’s.  Talk about bittersweet.



Well, at least now I have balls to play with.

Next time: Reassembly, and a finished table…  “this time for sure!”

Foosball Table, part 3

I bought a foosball table for the space.  It needed some cleanup & repair and Walter asked me to blog about it.  Part 3 in a 5 part series.

These events took place on November 19 & 20, 2013.

Read Part 1 of this series, or part 2 if you missed them.

Next on the agenda were repairs, more cleaning of the table, and some cosmetic work.

I wanted to repair the banked corners that had fallen.  Looks like the staples came loose.  I guess it could have been being left outside for so long, or perhaps something was set on them that caused them to come loose.  I don’t know, don’t care, just want them fixed. Hmmm… looks like I’ll have to disassemble a lot of the table for the best repair of the corners.

Flip the table:


Unbolt the legs:


Remove the bracing & the playing surface itself (man, that thing’s dirty!  How long did this thing sit outside?!?!):


What I ended up doing was gently tapping the staples back into place with a screwdriver used as a chisel (something you should never do – do as I say, kids, not as I do).  They seemed to set back into place nicely; time will tell how sturdy & long-lasting the repair will be.


Then more cleanup of the playing surface.  MAN, this thing was dirty.


AND THE BALL RETURNS, TOO!  I mean, really… how long did this thing sit in the weather?!?!  Here you see I’ve reinstalled the playing surface & bracing, and one of the ball returns cleaned (well, as cleaned as they are going to be this time around…)


Both cleaned:


Reinstalling the ball returns:


Yay!  All back together.


The only remaining thing I did today was brush down the rusty fasteners & paint them.  I pushed them into a box, and painted them with glass black Rustoleum Epoxy appliance paint.  However, I didn’t get a picture until the painting was done:


I left that to dry, and would come back for reassembly in a day or two.

Next time: DISASTER (well, as disastrous as you can get trying to fix up a foosball table)

Foosball Table, part 2

I bought a foosball table for the space.  It needed some cleanup & repair and Walter asked me to blog about it.  Part 2 in a 5 part series.

These events took place on November 17, 2013.

Read Part 1 of this series, if you missed it.

I boxed & bagged parts as I took them apart, and made some notes, too.  The bumpers could easily go together wrong: plastic washer, metal washer, rubber bumper, plastic washer.  And the metal washer goes to the inside of the table, by the foosball guy.  And the goalies have an additional metal stop ring that gets mounted… in place of additional goalies, I guess?  Anyway, take notes & lots of pictures when you do something like this… it will pay off in the end (a lesson I was reminded of with this very project.  More on that in a future installment).

The rods bumped around in the back of my truck for a day or two until I finally brought them inside and wiped them down.  They really could use some chrome polish, or barkeep’s friend or the like, but for now I just vigorously wiped them down with an all-purpose cleaner.   Then to clean the rest of the table’s parts… this little project gave me a chance to use my ultrasonic cleaner!


I love having a Harbor Freight store in the town.  It’s great! And if you check any number of magazines, the newspaper, or online, you can always find percentage off coupons to help bring down the costs of whatever you’re buying.  This particular cleaner, I bought at HarborFreight to clean motorcycle carburetors, believe it or not.  I’ve read on the ‘net (gotta love the internet) that you can use an ultrasonic cleaner with regular dish detergent (Dawn was recommended) and effectively clean out motorcycle carbs.  I have a project bike in the back yard, an ’81 Honda CB400T, that WILL someday be put back on the road.  I bought the cleaner for that purpose, but have never gotten around to opening it & actually cleaning the carbs, so this will be its maiden voyage: cleaning parts from a foosball table.

Here is the yellow team getting sonic’d:



And here is the tan team getting sonic’d:


Strange (or maybe not), but the only damaged foosball guys were the tan team… all the yellow guys were just fine.  I assume it’s a characteristic of the tan plastic, or perhaps something in the manufacturing. I suppose it could just be that the tan team was played by Moose & Reggie, while the yellow team was played by Archie & Jughead. (I bet that Moose guy would be super hard on foosball guys, don’t you think?)

Then the bumpers & washers, etc. got a bath, too:


Here is the damage tally: Four guys down.  One paraplegic (no legs), one bionic guy (legs broken off but secured back on because we have the technology to make him faster, better, etc.), and two guys that are accidents waiting to happen: cracks across their chests, right in line with the rods they are mounted on (sorry about the bad picture quality; I had real difficulty getting this shot, no idea why).


With the damage assessed, I made a decision for the project: I would do it as cheaply as possible.  I searched online and between eBay & a number of specialty web sites, I ordered (4) tan guys & a dozen foosballs from Mueller Receational Products. Four “New Style Tournament Soccer Man-Cream” (oops; I guess they’re “cream”, not “tan”) and a dozen “Tournament Soccer White Engraved Foosballs” were less than $20.  Cheap enough.   I can’t wait for the delivery…

Next time: table repairs & more cleanup.

Foosball Table, part 1

I bought a foosball table for the space.  It needed some cleanup & repair and Walter asked me to blog about it.  Part 1 in a 5 part series.

These events took place on November 15, 2013.

Not sure why, but I have had a hankering for a foosball table.  I used to play in college, thought  it might go nicely in the new space, and hoped it would be well received.  So, I’ve been perusing Craigslist.  We’re lucky; the Albuququerque CraigsList is pretty busy, so there’s plenty of opportunity to find bargains.  It’s frustrating, too, though.  So many people never answer e-mails, and many never delete their ad after the item is sold so too often if you do receive an answer back, it’s “sold”.  And that’s not considering the many CraigsList scams out there.

In this case, I eventually found a foosball table for just $50!  I emailed the seller, and received back the info that the table was left at their rental property by their last tenants as partial payment.  And of course it’s all the way on the other side of town.  I found the place, and saw the table… it was in rough shape, but he was only asking $50, and I figured the parts were worth that much.  “Rough shape” translates as left outside for, oh, I am guessing for more than a year!  There was dirt & dust all over the playing field, one guy broken in half (and several with cracks starting to form), rust on every fastener, laminate damage at various parts of the table, and the unprotected ends have started soaking up moisture, too.  That detailed analysis (aside from ‘hey, some of the guys are damaged’) all came later.  All I saw at the time was the price!  “Only” fifty bucks!

Well, obviously I wasn’t thinking clearly, because I forked over the money, the gentleman helped me load it into my Ford truck, and away we went.

Now, I don’t have room for something like this at my own house, so to Quelab it had to go.  Again, I hoped it would be well received, even in the horrible shape it was in.  I got down to the new location (such a thing would never have fit at Quelab 1.0!), and found my first problem.  We don’t yet have a garage (e.g. w-i-d-e) door to get into the space, so I was going to have to figure out how to get a foosball table through a normal sized doorway!

Here are some shots of the table in as-bought condition, taken outside the Quelab front door:




 I went ahead and disassembled the rods & guys off of the table, so it would fit through the door.  I would end up removing them as part of the refurbishment, so no big deal doing it at this point in time.


 In the pic you can see some of the damage more clearly: the dirt of course, but also the rust on all the fasteners, and the banked corners have fallen & need put back into place (tables with only one goalie usually have these corners so the ball does not end up in a dead spot).

Next time: cleanup & damage assessment.

p.s.I have since figured out a super easy way to move the table through a doorway without disassembly: stand it on end and move it on a flat furniture dolly putting the right legs through the door then then the left legs, easy-peasy.  If the table ends up living in the entryway (what we are now calling room 49), it will be moved there with this technique.


December Planning Meeting

Friends, Makers, Quelab Supporters!

We will be holding our next general meeting on 8th of December at 4:30pm MDT. Please take a look at the agenda of the items we will be discussing, and if you have any suggestions for the agenda, please speak with a board member.

Agenda Link

This is an important meeting, because it is the first part of the planning sessions for setting the goals that Quelab will have in 2014. This is the best time to come and see what we can do, and to set the focus that the board will support for the coming year. Additionally, we will be reviewing the bylaws for the space, taking volunteers for the positions that the new space will need to have to run smoothly, and then he planning itself.

Last year, we identified a need to move to a larger space. The board make that a priority, and Quelab as a whole made it happen. Where should we go from here? Let us know what you want Quelab to be for 2014! In fact, this meeting is so large, we have to split it in two… the items we don’t get to this month will be carried over into next month, and we will get the whole thing done. Just to look at what we did last year, check out part one and part two from the minutes.

Come on down!


Changes Coming to Your Lab

The lease is signed, the Indiegogo Campaign is complete, and Quarantine:ABQ is packing up their stuff. That means this is the month of transition…

Our new location is 680 Haines NW. Hack nights will still be held at our South Campus until 24 November.

Between now and then, there is a lot of work to be done. Here is the current schedule:

  • 10 November: The Prodigious Packing (wherin Quelab is reduced to Boxes)
  • 17 November: The Commodious Cartage (wherein Quelab is transported)
  • 24 November: The Inaugural Hack-Night at the new Campus (The “Unboxing”)

Any assistance that the membership can render would be greatly appreciated. Whether that’s putting things into boxes on the 10th, driving the boxes from one building to the other on the 17th, or helping us unpack everything at the North Campus on the 24th, it is all needed.

Additionally, some of the work that is being done to make the place habitable and friendly to hacking will be done by us Quelabbers. We are in need of labourers to help in removing walls and debris under the supervision of the landlord’s contractor. Updates will be posted to the blog when we have more information.

UPDATE 1 (15 Nov)
After getting everything loaded up on the 10th, most of the people involved decided it was easier to move everything that day, rather than waiting until this week. So the majority of the boxes and large things have been moved over to the North Campus. However, the internet is not yet on at North Campus, and there aren’t any chairs in South Campus. The Telco should be moving the internet at North Campus on Wednesday 20 Nov….